Friday, July 29, 2016

Harry Potter Month: Books for Harry Potter Fans

So, Micheline inspired me to go back and look at my list that I made for my library a few years ago. I tweaked it a bit and decided to make it just for Middle Grade. Then, I made a whole new list for people who read YA.

Do you think I’m missing anything? Also, is anyone else going to a midnight party tomorrow?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson

Summary on Goodreads:
She's your new favorite. She's everyone's new favorite. And now she's joining the big leagues. Look out world, Kamala Khan is officially an Avenger! But will being one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes be everything she imagined? Or is life as a celebrity harder than she thought? But while saving the world is important, Jersey City still needs its protector too. A development company that co-opted Ms. Marvel's face for its project might well have more in mind for gentrification than just real estate. Can Kamala take down the evil suits destroying her home without ruining her personal life? Speaking of which, who exactly is that with Bruno? Get back on board and cling on, Kamala Korps, the ride is about to get wilder than ever!
These graphic novels are so good. If you have not read any of Ms. Marvel yet, what are you waiting for? They are all about Kamala Khan, a teen, Muslim girl trying to balance out, family, faith, school, friends, and saving the world. I love getting the whole newbie superhero experience from Kamala’s point of view.  Her point of view is fresh, funny, sarcastic, and so very YA.
I particularly loved that this installment was about Kamala’s balancing act. She felt like she had to do everything. And when her solution to trying to do everything fails, she’s calls in the big guns: the Avengers and Captain Marvel. And I love that Iron Man pretty much tells her that going to school is important. That being with family is important. And sometimes you just have to do what you know you’ll regret missing a few years down the line. I love that Kamala knows what is most important in the end.
I also love the new Mike character! I think it’s great the Bruno isn’t just sitting around, pining any more. Good for him. I also love the storyline with Kamala’s brother getting engaged. It’s nice seeing a super hero have real life problems, on top of all the not so typical super hero problems.
I love all the Avenger cameos. Loki makes a brief appearance too. And it’s beyond cool to see Iron Man play the mentor character, and not mess it up. The artwork, as always, is top notch. The overarching plot lines are fun to return to. The new bad guys weren’t quite as intense as older bad guys, but still rather entertaining.
I give this one a 9/10. I highly recommend these comics to anyone and everyone in need of a good girl hero.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (197)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to share which books we are most anticipating.
This week I am waiting on The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer (11/15/16):

Description on Goodreads:
In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life, but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

In this tautly plotted novel, Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors.
Why I’m Waiting:
Okay, so I know that not everyone likes Stephenie Meyer. I kinda do. I’ve reread all her Twilight books. And I devoured The Host. I was really excited to learn of this new one. The story sounds like a lot of fun. It sounds more adult than her other books. Basically, it sounds kinda like a Bourne movie, but with a female lead…and well, yes please!
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Summary from Goodreads:
Ink and Bone introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history—continues. . . .

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.

Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control. . . .
The first book was my favorite book of the year, last year. When I haven’t been crazy busy with work stuff (aka: 99% of the time), I’ve been obsessing about this book’s release and of course the Harry Potter book release as well. July was pretty much all about this book and the next Harry Potter book. The fact that I could be excited about any book that wasn’t Harry Potter is a major compliment.
Paper and Fire did not disappoint. How can I not love a series of dystopias designed for booklovers? The first book was described as being a mixure of the Harry Potter series, The Book Thief, and Fahrenheit 451. I guess that description holds true in book 2, but now also throw in Catching Fire, The Giver, and The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. Seriously, this book is some magical book pyramid of awesome that combines all the best elements of past books I love.
Like with Catching Fire, this second installment was non-stop action, filled with various twists, surprises, and secrets. Ahhh, I loved this. Oh, and the setting was so cool. From Alexandria, to Rome, to London, to secret libraries, to the Tower, to where I know they are all headed in book 3, every place is so exciting and fun to read about.
The first book seemed to be about survival. Jess had to survive his jobs, his training, his tests, and then he could get on with his life. This book, has that need of survival still, but also, more importantly, there’s this under root of rebellion. The library is evil. It kills and tortures and destroys. And the further along I got in this book, the more clear it became that a rebellion was necessary. It just involves a lot of giving up of things along the way.
So much is learned about the tower, about the automata, and about the library in general in this installment. Books are burnt, war has sprung in Europe, and more characters die. There’s never a good moment to put this book down. Never. It was hard going to work and not just staying home and reading this.
I loved reuniting with old characters, I loved the new settings, I loved the action, and I loved the much-raised stakes of everything. I cannot wait for the third book to come out. I give this one a 10/10. What a fantastic sequel!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Harry Potter Month: Harry Potter Birthday Party

So, I kind of joined the festivities a little later than expected this year. Mostly, July is the craziest month of the year (at work) for me, and I wasn’t sure I’d make this work. However, it’s Harry Potter…this had to work. And this is so much fun! Thank you Micheline, and Faith for putting this all together!
Part of my July craziness at work is actually throwing a Harry Potter birthday party. Since, my library is closed on Sunday, we are having it on Friday this year. What is entailed with the Harry Potter birthday party?  It starts with an hour of different stations: edible potion making, feather quill pen making, sorting quizzes, and jelly bean guessing. Then, there will be a giant Harry Potter birthday cake, while we play the first movie. I’m so excited! The one who gets the closest number of jelly beans in the jar, wins all the jelly beans and also a Harry Potter coloring book. I’m also handing out raffle tickets for the new book that comes out Sunday.
Here’s my example feather quill pens (all you do is use colored tape to tape around a feather and a pipe cleaner –though make sure you take the top off the pen first):

Here are two edible potion recipes, and then of course the potion cheat sheet (so we know what the kiddos are actually drinking):

Some past years potions pictures:

I’ll get a picture of the cake on Friday, and I’ll try to make sure to post about that later.

What better way to prepare for the new book can there be?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (196)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to share which books we are most anticipating.
This week I am waiting on The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (3/28/17):

Description from Goodreads:
Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father?
Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices. Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. But at the center of this adventure are the extraordinary, multifaceted, and multicultural characters that leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds. The sequel—and conclusion—to the indie darling The Girl from Everywhere will be devoured by fans of Rachel Hartman and Maggie Stiefvater.
Why I’m Waiting:
Well, this sounds awesome. I loved the first book. I only learned of the first book because I heard the author speak at a “We Need Diverse Books” panel at a library conference. She made her book sound so magical and amazing, I quickly requested a copy of it. And I was not disappointed. I love that it seems like this one will focus a little more on Nix’s relationship with Kash. And I love the idea of them meeting other travelers. The only problem is March is so far away!
What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Trials of Apollo Book 1: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Summary from Goodreads:
How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.

But Apollo has many enemies - gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.
I’ve been so excited to get started with this book. I learned of its existence way ahead of the game. Riordan talked about it on his first tour stop for the first Magnus Chase book. I remember it seeming like some faraway dream of a book, but also just hilariously amazing. Thankfully, my dreams that started so long ago did no disappoint.
This is the kind of book you wish for all your favorite authors to write. It’s a book that continues some serious past series plotlines with some of the best characters, but also brings in a side character you were never expecting. This side character happens to be a conceited, snobbish, poetry-writing God. And I can honestly say I never gave much thought to Apollo gaining his own series or even playing such a major role in things. I’m so glad he’s important now though. So, so glad.
It’s unbelievably gratifying to see a stuck up character getting his just-desserts. This is karma at it’s best. Apollo as mortal was not only satisfying to read about, but it was downright hilarious. I haven’t laughed out loud this much from a book in a very long time. This definitely constituted as a book I shouldn’t read in public because all my laughter would embarrass me.
I thought Percy was funny. Apollo’s fresh, sarcastic, egotistical perspective on life puts Percy’s humor to shame. And when the two characters are together? It’s priceless.
Every chapter starts with one of Apollo’s haikus! Every haiku was fantastic. I want to write each one down and save them for times where I’m in need of a good smile. I liked the new character, Meg too. I want to know so much more about her and I’m hoping things work out well with her in book 2. I also loved that this book didn’t waste time in the build-up. The action starts immediately. A war is brought to Camp Half Blood in book 1! I’m slightly worried book 2 will not be able to live up to this one’s level of epic.
I found the plot line with oracles to be really interesting. I never gave too much thought to their importance and necessity. I guessed the big plot twist early on; however, I have read so many Rick Riordan books that I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t. I love the weapons in this book. I love the way Apollo gets out of sticky situations. And I loved all the reunions with old friends.
This book was pure joy. I’m sad I read it so quickly. I want to go back and laugh some more. Rick Riordan is a genius. I give this a 10/10.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Summary from Goodreads:
Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home... forever.
I love a good time travel book, and this did not disappoint. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one as much as I did. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting. Certainly not adventures at sea, secret codes, family secrets, passages in time that are opened up with musical notes, magical artifacts, desert travel, violent attacks, and a super interesting, forbidden love.
I like how the book tackled things like race and gender in regards to time travel. Basically, it was not easy for someone not white or male to go back in time.  I loved that one of the first conversations Etta has with a fellow traveler involves conversing about when women finally get the vote. And I love Nicholas. (Though, did his name really need to be Nick Carter?) I love his dreams and his sense of justice. His story was raw and powerful. And I love getting a biracial love story.
I love the romance and the adventure. I think my favorite parts all took place on Nicholas’s ship. His crew owned a piece of my heart. Though, I also loved all the scenes in the desert and even the jungle. This was more than anything, an adventure story. The plot was constantly moving. Etta was always on the run from somebody or other.
There’s still so much I need to know about Etta’s history and about her mother. I cannot believe the state of things this book ended in. Talk about cliffhangers. The end makes me need book 2 so badly. I cannot wait to see what happens next.
I really enjoyed this one. I am so shipping Etta and Nicholas a lot more than I was expecting to. I’m curious to see how it all resolves and what happens to the timelines. I love stories where the underdog takes the lead and I this is very much that kind of story. I’m hoping more comes up in regards to Etta’s music in the next one. Should she be practicing?
This was better than expected. I give it a 9/10.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers

Summary from Goodreads:
His world is music. Her world is silent.

Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.

When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.
I read this book super fast (in under a day). I love books where the main character gets to meet and possibly fall in love with a famous person. I know they are not that plausible, but they read like modern day fairytales to me. I knew I’d eat this one up. I’m also super fascinated by Deaf Culture, and I couldn’t wait to read a YA book with a main character who was deaf.
This book did not disappoint in regards to those to things that I love. I also loved that two of the band member were gay and dating each other. I loved how one of them was obsessed with watching Dr Who. The characters all just seemed so real to me. They weren’t just background noise for the main event: the romance. They were a little more than that.
I loved reading all the scenes with the band bickering back and forth. I also felt like Ali’s best friend was a solid character. I wished I got to see more of her.
Both Ali and Jace came from abusive families. And I almost wish this part of the storyline was missing. Ali and Jace seemed to be connected in almost too many ways. I know a major facet of the romance was the idea that they could help each other heal because they truly understood what the other had gone through, but it felt a little over the top to me. Also, why was Jace always waking up soar, and feeling the long term effects of his injuries, while Ali never seemed to be in physical pain?
All in all, I wish there was more focus on Deaf Culture, and more connections made between Ali and Jace’s parents. I loved the characters. I found the romance to be rather predicable and cliché, yet at the same time I read it super fast. It was a nice, easy contemporary to read in the midst of the chaos of my schedule at the moment. I give it a 7/10.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (195)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to share which books we are most anticipating.
This week I am waiting on Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken (1/3/17):

Description on Goodreads:
All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.
Why I’m Waiting:
I only recently finished the first book: Passenger, and I loved it. Also, I could not possibly understand how anyone could finish that first book and not need the second as soon as humanly possible. That ending was nuts. Nuts!  I love a good time travel book, and this did not disappoint. I like how the book tackled things like race and gender in regards to time travel. Basically, it was not easy for someone not white or male to go back in time. I love the romance and the adventure. And there’s so much I still need to know about Etta’s history. So much.
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Summary from Goodreads:
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
For 640 pages, I read this one remarkably fast. There just wasn’t a good time to put this down. Ever. I needed to know things. And I had to see other things through.
That being said, I do not like these books as much as I do the Throne of Glass series. I liked this second book a lot more than I did the first. I think that is mostly due to the pacing. This one had way better pacing, action, adventure, and world building than book 1 did. However, because of Throne of Glass, I feel like I expect a lot here.
I still loved, and rated this rather highly. There aren’t a lot of books I can read this quickly. It was like a special treat just to have a few spare moments in my busy life right now to read it, and I never felt like any of my spare moments were wasted. This was juicy. The romance was sizzling. The dark court was fascinating. The characters were awesome. And the world was just beyond awesome.
I love that the first guy a girl falls in love with isn’t necessarily the last guy she falls in love with. Maas takes this ridiculous YA trope of first love soul mates and turns it upside down, or at least I thought she was doing that. Then comes the whole “mate” thing. As far as I can tell, it’s a not-so fancy way of describing someone a character can just instantly fall in love with/soul mate bond with. As soon as more happened with this particular plot device, I made literal gagging noises. This instant-love/meant to be nonsense reminded too much of imprinting and also kind of counter-balanced what the author was initially saying.
Looking back at my old review, I realize I also didn’t care too much for Feyre in book 1. I loved her in this one. She knows she’s broken. But, she also knows she’s special. She’s strong, determined to not be left behind, and open to learning how to improve. She has some serious downer moments, but she did have a lot to process and recover from.
So, why don’t I like this one as much as her other series (besides the instant soul mate nonsense)? The plot. I think her other series has one insanely amazing and unique YA plot, and this one just barely reached a quarter of the other one’s greatness. I know she can do better.
The different courts hiding artifacts, and the whole bringing back a certain character storyline just felt like something I’ve read a million times before. And I guess, the whole Feyre having all the powers thing, also reminded me of a million other YA books. I was hoping for the plot to be a little bit fresher.
That being said, I grew to love Feyre. I loved the romance (before the mate thing started). I loved the world building. I read this book in record time. The pacing was so much better than in book 1. However, I was hoping for a little more originality. I give it an 8/10. I’m still rating it high because of how I devoured the thing.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Good Week in Books (138)

I had a nice, little book week. My library’s annual book sale is officially open. Staff and volunteers are invited to come in the day before it opens to get first dibs. I bought a few books. I even purchased one adult book. My boyfriend is also a librarian, so last week I went to his book sale, and this week he came to mine. Libraries and book sales are the best. I may even have to look up when other summer library sales are happening.
The lovelies:

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
Just Listen  by Sarah Dessen
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
I already read Just Listen and All the Bright Places, but both are books I know I will want to go back to at some point.
How was your week in books?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (194)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to share which books we are most anticipating.

This week I am waiting on The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro (2/14/17):

Description on Goodreads:

In this second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn't the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family's Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming more than friends - but still, the darkness in Charlotte's past is a wall between them.

A distraction arises soon enough, because Charlotte's beloved Uncle Leander goes missing from the estate — after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.

Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty — formerly Charlotte's obsession, currently believed by most to be dead — whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too. What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.
Why I’m Waiting:
I loved the first book. I ate it up and enjoyed it even more than I was expecting to. I’m in love with the idea of a female Sherlock. Yes, more please! Also, in this book they get to travel? More is likely to be revealed about August Moriarty. And the romance is building between the two main characters? I want this like yesterday. I’m so excited for where things will go. Also, I love the consistent covers.
What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Summary from Goodreads:

Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!
So, this is my favorite Telgemeier book (so far). There’s a new one entitled Ghosts coming out soon, and I might end up liking that one the best. I love a good ghost story. I’ve been on a good Telgemeier kick lately too. There’s something so easy, so fresh, and so fun about all of her graphic novels.
I love that I can read her books in no time at all. I love her artwork. I love how easy these books are for people to read, even if they aren’t used to reading graphic novels. It’s also nice to get middle school books that aren’t about anything too dark, war-like, or death related. These are kind of fluffy. And I particularly liked this one because of the romance element.
The romance did take a backseat to the rest of the plot, which is fine by me. I love that Callie’s love of set design takes the center stage. It’s not just some added hobby put in by the author, and then never discussed again. It’s a real thing that emanates from her person for the entirety of the book.  Also, back to the romance, it’s middle school romance for sure. Basically, Callie has a few crushes (not just one!) and the way she handles them is so real, but also so brave.
Callie puts herself out there to get what she wants, even though a lot of the time things can and do end badly or embarrassingly. I was not like that in middle school. I like to think I am this way now. I wish I was more like Callie in middle school and that’s another reason I loved this book.
I loved the LGBT characters too. Also, Callie’s friends and family members all felt very believable to me. The real stand out though of course is Callie. I love that she knows when she’s not being treated fairly by guys. And I love how she handled a certain situation with an old crush at the end of the book. I pretty much yelled out, “You, go girl!” when I read it.
This is a great book if you’re looking for something you can read fast. It’s sweet, fluffy, and kind of dramatic (as the title suggests). Basically, I loved every second of it. I give it a 10/10.